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WEEKES ON THE WEB
Posted On Friday, 11.21.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Give Predators, Bonino, Foligno their due

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

Hello, hockey fans! The four things I'm looking at this week include the steady Nashville Predators, two unheralded players in Columbus and Vancouver, and how much fun it has been watching Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin alongside Radim Vrbata:

1. Nashville Predators -- I really like what I'm seeing in Nashville's game. First of all, when you have a healthy Pekka Rinne, a top-five goalie in the League and in the world, that's an advantage. But besides Pekka, who would have thought that Nashville would be a plus-15 in goal differential, tied with the Chicago Blackhawks in that category. That's an incredible increase in their output. They played the way they needed to play in previous seasons based on the personnel they had and what Barry Trotz envisioned. Trotz had the longest-tenured coaching job in all of sports, but it's also how well he coached that team and how well the whole coaching staff developed those players and what they've done through the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League. I don't think there's been a team that's been as consistent with the way they've developed their assets through their minor league program. Now they have a little more offense. Certainly, when you bring in a James Neal you're adding more offense. So when you look at the way they're playing now, they haven't sacrificed how they defend for the ability to attack a little more. They have allowed 37 goals all season, which is second only to the St. Louis Blues and we all know how Blues coach Ken Hitchcock loves to defend.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes' pluses, minuses for Flyers-Rangers

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his pluses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

One of the more storied rivalries in the NHL will take center stage when the New York Rangers play host to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Wednesday Night Rivalry at Madison Square Garden.

It's a matchup hockey fans always look forward to each season because of the expected physical play and intense moments throughout.

Here are my pluses and minuses for the Rangers and Flyers entering this week's WNR, and three things you need to watch when you're tuned into NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday:

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Posted On Friday, 11.14.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Avalanche need to be flexible

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

Hi fans! The four things I'm looking at this week include two struggling teams in the tough Central Division, the defense in New Jersey and the inspirational captain in Calgary, Mark Giordano.

1. Colorado Avalanche

I believe in this group and love what they did last year and what they're capable of, and I believe in coachPatrick Roy and his staff. They have so much character in the room. A lot of the young guys are good people, but I think one of the things you have to know is that you have to make adjustments constantly in order to consistently win in this League, especially when you're still trying to develop a team identity. I know last year they played to a certain identity, but it's almost as if the League has figured you out and now you have to make adjustments.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.12.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Bruins' Soderberg emerges; Ducks' Andersen excels

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his plusses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

It's a Rivalry Night doubleheader Wednesday on NBCSN.

* The Boston Bruins visit the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six, Atlantic Division matchup (8 p.m. ET).

* The Anaheim Ducks host the Los Angeles Kings in a Southern California treat and a Pacific Division matchup (10:30 p.m. ET).

Let's get right to it with one plus and one minus for each team, and three things to watch in each game:


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Posted On Friday, 11.07.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Fearless Flames earning it out West

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

This week I'm looking at four teams, four impressive teams -- and I bet you wouldn't have thought to use the word impressive with three of them just a few weeks ago:

1. Calgary Flames

The Flames have been excellent, but this really shouldn't come as any surprise if you watched them play last year. They played really well last year. They matched up against a lot of top teams in the Western Conference. They weren't afraid. They beat a lot of those teams.

To quote one coach that I can't name because he was at one point part of the organization (I'll let you figure it out), he said their team can "scare the daylights out of you on any night." That's a huge compliment for Calgary. They can scare you.

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Posted On Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Speed is key to Red Wings-Rangers matchup

It's another Original Six matchup, the Detroit Red Wings against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. This is old-time hockey sped up and modernized.

Without question the Red Wings have been the more consistent team of the two so far this season. They have been able to play their game on a more consistent basis than the Rangers.

Health has something to do with that; the Rangers are beat up on the blue line. But overall, individual performances notwithstanding, team-wise the Red Wings have been more consistent. I would imagine Rangers coach Alain Vigneault would say the same thing.

That said, here are my plusses and minuses for the Rangers and Red Wings this season, and three things or players you should watch when you're tuned into NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday:


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Posted On Friday, 10.31.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Burns, Lightning, Griffith, Ducks' kids impressive

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you the Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

This week I've got indomitable Brent Burns, the explosive Tampa Bay Lightning, the emergence of Seth Griffith and the impressive Anaheim Ducks. Let's get to it:

1. Brent Burns is amazing

This is rare. He is rare. It's almost an impossibility to be able to go from defense to forward to defense and still be as effective and productive as he is.

Burns leads all defenseman in the NHL in points. He was a forward last season. That's amazing.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.29.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes offers likes, concerns for Capitals-Red Wings

Each Wednesday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be offering his plusses and minuses for the teams competing in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game in his Weekes on the Web blog. Weekes will also be assisting fans with three must-watch elements of the game.

Alex Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk. Nicklas Backstrom and Henrik Zetterberg. Russians and Swedes, Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. This is must-watch stuff in October, folks.

NBCSN has you covered Wednesday night with the Red Wings visiting the Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET).

Here are some of my likes and concerns about Detroit and Washington so far this season, and a couple of points of emphasis you should keep in mind when you're watching the game:

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Posted On Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: Weekes on instant offense off faceoffs

Each Friday throughout the regular season Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four in his Weekes on the Web blog. He will be blogging about four players, teams, plays, trends or really four of whatever in the NHL that have caught his eye.

Friday Four this week is all about trends I have noticed in the early part of this season:

1. Goals scored off faceoffs

We saw this last season at the start of the season too. We are seeing a lot of goals scored that are a direct result of a faceoff win. The reason is more teams now are running plays off the faceoff.

One thing Dan Bylsma did when he was the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins is he implemented a lot of faceoff plays. He spoke to Mike Tomlin, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, about creating plays, player movement, and Bylsma got real creative with how he was doing it by putting players in motion off different faceoff situations. That became a big advantage for Pittsburgh.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Penguins playing to their strengths now

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a new look under first-year coach Mike Johnston and so far you can't argue with the results. Most impressive about the Penguins is they are playing to their strengths, which are speed and skill.

You'll see them both on display against the Philadelphia Flyers in the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET).

When the Penguins played their best under former coach Dan Bylsma they were playing to their strengths, and it wasn't at the expense of their defense. The times they got into trouble are when they fell in love with their offense so that came at the expense of their defense. But when they were at their best they weren't mutually exclusive.

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